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A Time To Stand – Light Years

A Time To Stand are revitalizing the punk spirit. They’re a band of crusaders playing music and traveling from one spot to the next, spearheading tiny revolutions.



Sweeping and soaring guitar lines and melodic underpinnings are plentiful on A Time To Stand’s new record Light Years. The German punk outfit exert their talents in a big way here, committing to music and placing their fingers on the pulse of the genre that they adore. Adoration for punk rock these days is a rare occurrence when we see copious acts alter their material to fit trends. 

A Time To Stand aren’t partial to following the newest fads. Their straight-forward in your face punk is authentic and genuine, and they don’t develop songs to hit the mainstream, they’re doing this to alert us, to compel, to welcome us into their punk haven. Thrills aren’t painstakingly implemented on Light Years. This is a record of purpose and breakneck honesty. 

Light Years leaves behind a lasting effect after the final song dissipates. That urgency, the commentary on love’s breaking heart, the angst, and those spearheaded anecdotes, all bridge the gap and resonate. Most of us are naturally emotional but don’t like to slide into the grey. On Light Years, there are moments when the guitars let the sombreness shade through. 

The moments are not consistent as the instrumentals barge through. This is not a bad thing, as punk is supposed to ruffle us up. It’s supposed to take us on crusades through darkened days, dingy gig halls, and beersoaked hotel rooms. To live we must respect punk and its unconventionalities. It isn’t pretty, but it is far more original than a pop song that melts into your brain.

The record packs an almighty punch too and is eventful. “Gantville” thrusts and plays on the punk dynamic. It is a gratifying track which has a dark underbelly. Death and infection are explored topics. “Geometry” starts with arresting drumbeats until the guitars generate powerful riffs. The band describe politics and hypocrisy seeping into the framework. “No Part Of This” triggers a fast-paced, volatile sound. The riff is pleasing and the drama unfolds without a heads up. It is compelling work from a band cultivating their own style. “The Great Slasher Movie Ride” is a subtle note, a softer, expanding the band’s diverse approach to song-writing. There are no brazen guitar strokes here. 

A Time To Stand are revitalizing the punk spirit. They’re a band of crusaders playing music and travelling from one spot to the next, spearheading tiny revolutions. 

(Disconnect Disconnect Records)


Crossed Keys – Saviors

Saviors shows the work of well-seasoned musicians finding new energy in old sounds



Crossed Keys Saviors

Philadelphia’s Crossed Keys are an interesting intersection between melodic hardcore and punk, taking an earnest approach to the sound that made its way from the underground in the late 90s and early 2000s. This relatively new outfit is the result of Kid Dynamite and Samiam in a blender- in the best way possible. The Kid Dynamite influence may be a given since Crossed Eyes features KD’s drummer Dave Wagenschutz, but the band’s pedigree also includes members of bands like Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer and The Curse, all backing the melancholic vocal work of frontman Joshua Alvarez (Halo of Snakes). So while Crossed Keys are somewhat new, its members have been cutting their teeth within their respective circles for years, and their new EP Saviors shows the work of well-seasoned musicians finding new energy in old sounds.

Saviors is backboned by the furious urgency and energy that Kid Dynamite showed through their history, but while Jason Shevchuk’s vocals were beautifully abrasive, Alvarez takes a more restrained, wistful approach to singing. Songs like the opening “Times of Grace” are musically up-tempo percussions and razor-sharp guitars, but are buoyed by Alvarez’s more melodic vocals. His vocals rest at a good place between Samiam’s Jason Beebout and that NYHC tone exhibited by bands like Token Entry and Grey Area. In songs like “R.J.A” and the closing title track, Crossed Keys find more success with their brand of blistering speed meets harmony- slowing down only for the kind of melancholic punk that made Samiam a noted name. While much of Saviors is built on pace, it wasn’t always this way for the band. In fact, their 2017 EP, I’m Just Happy That You’re Here, leans closer to Samiam than it does to Kid Dynamite (the song “Jeff Pelly vs. The Empire” is particularly fantastic), so there’s been an uptick of urgency with Saviors.

For fans of any of the aforementioned bands here, there is plenty to like with Crossed Keys and plenty to like in Saviors. It’s succinct, to the point, but filled with ample reflection and exploration that gives the EP depth and resonance. Any band that has found influence from Kid Dynamite is most certainly OK by us (this site is named after a KD song after all), but Crossed Keys does more than just tip their cap. This one’s a really good one, and worth your time.

(Hellminded Records)

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Every last time: Revisiting Gameface’s “How Far Is Goodbye?”

A glorious sound of a time gone by



Southern California’s Gameface were always a band that seemed perfect just below the cusp. Their brand of pop-tinged punk was somewhere in between the melancholy driven emo of the early 1990s to what would become of radio-friendly punk bands evolving from the Jimmy Eat Worlds of the… world.

I loved this band. It was songs like “My Star” and “When You’ve Had Enough” that captured my attention. They didn’t fit in with the punk explosion of the mid-90s and had more melodic chops than those that remained in the underground with bands like Quicksand and Texas is the Reason (the latter being the most musically similar).

To this day, I count their track “How Far Is Goodbye?” as one I can listen to on any given day and still feel the same way about it as I did years ago. It’s a glorious sound of a time gone by, and Jeff Caudill, who has been the backbone of their songwriting since the beginning, has still got the chops his ilk can only dream of. There’s a tinge of melancholy that conjures up a certain sadness, a scene in a movie where the protagonist is making their exit into the distance as the scene closes. Something about the song, the sentiment, and the lyrics that always reminds of driving away while looking at the rear view mirror.

Five years ago Gameface released a new album, Now Is What Matters, an album that perfectly encapsulated their ability to write with emotion, melody, and magnetism that only a select few seem to possess. I interviewed frontman Jeff Caudill before the album came out to chat about the band, an interview I think still holds up. Caudill has been busy since then with a lot of solo material, while the band themselves have been releasing music sporadically (mostly singles) since 2014.

While their catalog is deep, there’s one song I keep coming back to, and that’s “How Far Is Goodbye?”. Originally released on the split 10″ vinyl with Errortype: 11 in 2000, the song received an update in 2018, which you can hear below.

Gameface photo from Gameface facebook page.

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